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What Happens in Vegas...
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Old October 1st, 2010, 03:59 PM   #421
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Hi All --

Since this tread is several months old, I would like to know what are the latest/greatest PC specs as of now (I'm having a new machine built)? I've been all over the web taking in as much info as possible -- and I think my head is about to explode. Some questions:

Processor - i7 950? What's the fastest/best deal now?
mobo? x58? Intel?
RAM -- how much what type?
*Graphics card (CUDA, yes?) which one?
Power - 750W?
Ports? how many and which ones?

Or, if this latest info is compiled somewhere on the web (that I missed) -- please point the way.

Running Vegas 9 - 64 bit -- Win7
Editing - AVCHD, HDV

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by James Binder; October 1st, 2010 at 07:32 PM.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 04:04 PM   #422
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I would never obsess about the CPU, especially now that Vegas 10 is going to include some sort of CUDA acceleration. I would wait and see what video card is required. The few paltry cores you'll get with expensive CPUs means little beside the hundreds of GPUs in that video card.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:11 PM   #423
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With Vegas processor is still of prime importance. Dollar for $ this chip seems to be the best value right now. Newegg.com - Intel Core i7-950 Bloomfield 3.06GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor BX80601950

I could be mistaken, but from what I've read gpu acceleration in Vegas 10 will not make any difference in AVCHD or M2t performance on the timeline. The above chip is the fastest for the money, and very overclockable.

James, it is tough for us to recommend what size hard drives you need, etc. You need to know this yourself...based on your workflow and needs. I have many terabytes of hard drives, but you very well may not need what I do.

Generally speaking the Samsung 1TB drives (NOT the green drives) are a tremendous value right now at under $70. They are fast and work well in RAID 0. The WD Caviar Blacks are a personal favorite of mine, but are not so hot for RAID. The Velociraptors are overated (I have 3 of them) IMO. I would suggest a Caviar Black for your OS and the Samsungs as scratch and storage drives. SSDs are all the rage, but I haven't studied them, so I cannot help there. Disc drives are on the way out, but when run in RAID 0 can still be extremely competitive. I built a workstation for a friend of mine using the Caviar Blacks and it is super fast. I think those drive actually out perform my Velociraptors. They shouldn't, but his system is exactly the same as mine except for the drives and it just feels more responisve. Same MOBO, ram, everything. I actually ranted against the Samsungs a while back, but was wrong. I have four of them and they have NEVER let me down.

My fastest drives are actually two WD 2TB drives run in RAID 0...they actually outperform my Velociraptors in some areas and use less processor. The 2TB drives are great, but personally I have to run them in RAID 0, otherwise the time to transfer large 100GB files files is too slow for my workflow and perference. They are so cheap you can't go wrong with them.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:43 PM   #424
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Thanks Joe, Jeff --

Actually didn't mean to include 'what size' hard drive -- rather, brands, etc. Agreed that size is pretty much dependent on what one does...

If anybody else cares to chime -- I'd be appreciative. I like investigating all of this, getting into the technical end of things, but in all honesty, it can suck me in to the point where I get very little creative work done! I just want a solid, well built machine (that I don't have to worry about) and that will allow me to do my thing -- which again, is being creative.

If I had a list I could hand somebody and say, "here, build this" -- my life would be perfect :-) I suppose that is exactly what I am doing here -- trying to compile that list!

Thanks again --
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Old October 1st, 2010, 07:54 PM   #425
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Asust P6t vs2 MOBO, 12 GB of ram, the above drives, processor, you're good to go. It doesn't have to be difficult. The P6t is a favorite of many, and the version 2 is a refined more basic version with the kinks of the original eliminated. It has esata, firewire, etc. Newer boards will have faster SATA (6gb) and the newer usb connectors, but the speeds on the faster usb 3 are underwhelming, from what I've heard.

It is a time consuming process to select components, that is simply the way it is, however.
Good luck.

There are nice boards by ASUS and other companies with newer features, but I can't recommend them as I haven't studied them.
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Old October 1st, 2010, 08:14 PM   #426
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Thanks Jeff -- exactly the stuff I'm looking for --
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 05:25 AM   #427
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From what I've seen on the tech sites, the 2 TB WD blacks are regarded as the fastest hard drives in their class. They beat older Velociraptors. The newest Velociraptor is 600 GB and has SATA 6mb/s interface and is the fastest mechanical drive on the market, I believe. But, I haven't seen any MB with more than 2 SATA 6 interfaces, so that might limit your RAID options. I upgraded in July and got the i7 930 (best price/performance ratio at the time) it's a little slower than the 950 but not much. I also added 2 WD black 750s in RAID 0 and an Intensity Pro card. Now I can capture video straight from my XH-A1 in 8 bit uncompressed at 1980x1080. I shot about 2 hours continuously without a hitch at one event. I have a 5770 card, but may switch to a 460, they're supposed to be the sweet spot for cuda price/performance, last time I checked. I need to add at least one more 750 to the RAID for 10 bit recording, but so far the system handleseverything I throw at it.
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 07:59 AM   #428
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Steve, Blacks are a favorite of mine, but are notoriously unreliable for RAID, and not supported by WD for RAID use. If you scroll down the thread below you will see it is hit or miss. Works for some, not for others. I'm glad yours work fine.

[Solved] Caviar Black 1tb Raid 0 - NAS-RAID-Technologies - Storage

All in all, there are better drives for RAID use. Access and read times are flat with the blacks in RAID 0, but burst speeds are very fast. So yes, the blacks "might" work, but Western Digital does not recommend them for RAID, for good reason. Western Digital recommends their enterprise class drives for use with RAID.

Just food for thought.

Oh, and it is possible the newest Caviar Blacks have been changed to be more suitable for RAID, but I haven't seen that.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 04:41 PM   #429
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Feedback on these parts?

I may take the plunge and build this myself:

How do these parts look? Any imporvments or am I missing anything? Not sure about the Mobo -- seems to be missing eSATA.

*******

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HD: (3) HITACHI Deskstar H3IK10003272SP (0S02860) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Power: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

MOBO: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Processor: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Video Card: PNY VCQFX1800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 1800 768MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card

BD Burner: Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-205BKS - OEM
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Old October 5th, 2010, 05:47 PM   #430
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Everything looks good to me except maybe the drives...Hitachi drives are among the lowest rated. Check the drives out on Newegg and spend some time...sort them out by rating rather than price and see what you find that way.

Why not the Caviar Blacks? They cost about the same and are among the highest rated drives out there. They are nearly enterprise quality at less than half the price of the high end ones. Unless you're running RAID, then the Samsungs (F3?) would be a better choice, but hey, overall your choices look good. Be sure to check the MOBO out on a site like newegg also, for issues. Read 20 or 30 reviews if you haven't done so, or even more.

Consider Gskill memory. You can save some money, and it is consistently one of the favorites out there. You can't go wrong with Corsair (I've used it) but the Gskill is a really great value.

Sounds like you are on track to build a really nice workstation, congrats!
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Old October 5th, 2010, 07:14 PM   #431
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Jeff --

Thanks for the heads up on the drives. I'll check out the WD drives you mentioned. I only included the Hitachi because the 'videoguys DIY 7' recommended it. Should have read this thread more closely...

Wondering if anyone has any hands on experience with the mobo listed above. It looks as if it's lacking eSATA -- which seems rather limiting (I have two eSATA 1TB drives). And it appears that there are less USB2 ports in leu of USB3.

Thanks again for the feedback --
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Old October 5th, 2010, 07:31 PM   #432
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Unless USB has drastically changed its core features, USB3.0 ports should still be able to connect to USB2.0 devices.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 01:57 PM   #433
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Thanks Jason --

Anyone: Overkill on the graphics card? It is CUDA -- which will come in handy with Vegas 10. Is there another one I should look at?
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Old October 6th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #434
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Binder View Post
I may take the plunge and build this myself:

How do these parts look? Any imporvments or am I missing anything? Not sure about the Mobo -- seems to be missing eSATA.

*******

Case: Antec Nine Hundred Two Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

HD: (3) HITACHI Deskstar H3IK10003272SP (0S02860) 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive

Power: CORSAIR CMPSU-750TX 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 12GB (6 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory

MOBO: ASUS P6X58D Premium LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Processor: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 1-Pack for System Builders - OEM

Video Card: PNY VCQFX1800-PCIE-PB Quadro FX 1800 768MB 192-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 Workstation Video Card

BD Burner: Pioneer Black Blu-ray Disc/DVD/CD Writer SATA BDR-205BKS - OEM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Everything looks good to me except maybe the drives...Hitachi drives are among the lowest rated. Check the drives out on Newegg and spend some time...sort them out by rating rather than price and see what you find that way.

Why not the Caviar Blacks? They cost about the same and are among the highest rated drives out there. They are nearly enterprise quality at less than half the price of the high end ones. Unless you're running RAID, then the Samsungs (F3?) would be a better choice, but hey, overall your choices look good. Be sure to check the MOBO out on a site like newegg also, for issues. Read 20 or 30 reviews if you haven't done so, or even more.

Consider Gskill memory. You can save some money, and it is consistently one of the favorites out there. You can't go wrong with Corsair (I've used it) but the Gskill is a really great value.

Sounds like you are on track to build a really nice workstation, congrats!
True, the Hitachis are the slowest of the 7200 rpm hard drives with 500GB platters in terms of sequential (physical) transfer speeds. But the WD Blacks have serious issues with RAID controllers: Newer revisions of the Blacks have TLER permanently disabled. This means that the drives will always spin down after 8 seconds of idle no matter what - and then, they take way too long to spin back up to speed. This will result in the RAID controller marking the Blacks in a RAID array as "failed" or "degraded" even though the drives are still good! That alone makes the WD Blacks unsuitable for use in a RAID array. So, if you intend to use the Blacks in a RAID array, you will have to purchase RE4 versions of those drives - at much higher prices than what the "consumer" versions of those drives cost.

If the permanently-disabled TLER isn't bad enough, most versions of the WD Blacks still in production continue to use the same, two-generation-old platter design that those drives had been introduced with. (For example, the 1TB Black in its SATA II version WD1001FALS continues to use three 334GB platters with a maximum sequential transfer speed of barely 110 MB/s - while in comparison, a newer-design Samsung F3 1TB HD103SJ that uses two 500GB platters can achieve nearly 150 MB/s on the outer tracks. In other words, the 1TB Black that does not use the SATA 6 Gbps interface is the slowest non-Green 1TB hard drive from any brand that's currently in production. As a result, the only drives in the WD Black line that are even competitive in sequential-speed performance with the hard drives with modern 500GB platters are the 1TB 6 Gbps WD1002FAEX, the 1.5TB WD1501FASS and the 2TB WD2001FASS.)

Third, there are three things that I would change on that build list:

1. The Antec Nine Hundred Two case is embarrassingly cramped in depth (front to rear). A regular ATX mobo such as the P6X58D fits with barely enough room to spare. This, in turn, limits the size of the graphics card that it can accommodate without undue bending of the PCI-e power cable. And because of this cramped depth, the internal SATA ports may get completely blocked by the hard drives themselves - and that some SATA plugs might not fit the tiny space between the case's drive cage support frame and the front edge of the motherboard where internal SATA ports are becoming increasingly common.

2. The Corsair 750TX power supply unit was good when it was first introduced. But since that time, there have been quite a few much-better-quality 750W PSUs introduced to the PC market, making the 750TX old and a bit outdated. It is due for a refresh sometime soon.

3. Don't trust the FX 1800 for GPU acceleration in most of the newer CUDA-optimized NLEs. This is because hardware-wise the FX 1800 is nothing more than a GeForce 9600 GS (which in turn is basically a GeForce 9600 GT with a 192-bit instead of 256-bit GDDR3 memory interface). As such, the FX 1800 has only 64 CUDA cores and slow memory while for comparison the GDDR5 version of the GeForce GT 240 has 96 CUDA cores and a memory bandwidth that's roughly equal to that of a 256-bit DDR3 bus (even though the GT 240's memory bus is only 128 bits wide). Plus, if you are going to be running Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, the program will be permanently fixed in the software-only mode due to it having only 749MB of available graphics RAM (remember, Windows itself eats up 19MB of the card's 768MB of VRAM).
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Old October 7th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #435
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Randall, if you read my previous posts it was pointed out repeatedly that the Blacks are not suitable for RAID. Otherwise the Samsungs are a better choice. They are fast and reliable. The Hitachi's are famously unreliable AND slow. I have never understood Videoguys recommendations for hard drives. They also recommend larger drives for OSs which I never understood. The only drive I've ever had actually die on me was a Hitachi.

If you don't run RAID, the Blacks are a superior drive. I have Velociraptors, and the WED Blacks go toe to toe with them. Truth be told, the Samsungs, WD Blacks, and other drives I have all run about the same. The WD is more consistent. I've benchtested all of my drives, and the Blacks are just more consistent across the board.
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